At the end of the long London Road, off Wembley High Road, there is a little known open space adjacent to the playing fields behind Ark Elvin Academy and Elsley Primary School. The open space is designated as such in Brent's Core Strategy Policy CP18 but planning officers argue in their report going to Planning Committee on Wednesday 19th June that it should be built on, partly because part of it has been covered in tarmac:
The site is close to a Grade 1 Site In Nature Conservation (SINC) which is close to the brook to the south and is also designated as a woldlife corridor.Officers do not consider that the site has the character or usability of conventional open space despite its designation as such. Officers therefore consider that the space could appropriately be developed for residential uses without materially detracting from the value of the playing fields open space designation.
When I visited the site much of it was fenced off but these photographs show the nature of the site.
It is planned to remove 29 of the 43 trees on the site, including all those that have a tree preservation order. I am not sure if it is proposed to fell the very handsome mature oak on the site that can be seen in the satellite view. Officers argue that there will be a net gain as 85 new trees will be planted as pat of the development.
Overall they argue that the loss of the open space is outweighed by the gain in terms of housing. The plan for the site can be seen below. Click bottom right corner for full page view.
As well as new housing there will be a replacement community centre slightly smaller than the present one but no new youth centre:
NAIL (New Accommodation for Independent Living) Residential Units (25 total)
17x studio flats 8 x 1 bedroom flats
Residential Units providing temporary accommodation (53 total)
32x 1 bedroom flats (which are adaptable to a 2 bedroom layout)
21x 2 bedroom flats (which are adaptable to a 3 bedroom layout)
General Purpose Residential Units for Affordable Rent (92 total)
10x 1 bedroom flats
61x 2 bedroom flats
13x 3 bedroom flats
8x 3 bedroom houses
Community Centre (293sqm indoor space + 168sqm outdoor space)
There have been four letters of objection to the development and a 57 signature petition of objection from nearby households. Elsley Primart School supported the development on the basis of local housing need.